Best Novels

(since 1850 and only one per writer)

selected by piero scaruffi


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(The lists by language are more reliable ==>)
(Yes, some day i will merge them all together and update this page
and here is the merge for novels of the 20th century)
  1. Kafka, Franz: The Trial (1915)
  2. Stendhal: The Red and the Black (1830)
  3. Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia, 1821): "Bratia Karamazovy/ Brothers Karamazov" (1880)
  4. Mann, Thomas: Buddenbrooks (1901)
  5. James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  6. Joyce, James: Ulysses
  7. Francois Rabelais (France, 1494): "Gargantua et Pantagruel" (1552)
  8. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Spain, 1547): "El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha" (1615)
  9. Bulgakov, Mikhail: The Master and Margherita (1940)
  10. Witkiewicz, Stanislaw: Insatiability
  11. Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights
  12. Nabokov, Vladimir: Ada
  13. Pynchon, Thomas: Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
  14. Gogol, Nikolaj: Dead Souls (1852)
  15. Faulkner, William: Light in August
  16. Dostoevskij, Fyodor: The Idiot (1869)
  17. Musil: The Man Without Qualities(1933)
  18. Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse
  19. Conrad, Joseph: Nostromo
  20. Tolstoy, Lev: War and Peace
  21. Celine: Journey to the End of the Night (1932)
  22. GarciaMarquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  23. Zola, Emile: Germinal (1885)
  24. Canetti: Autodafe (1935)
  25. Balzac, Honore: Eugene Grandet (1833)
  26. Jose, Saramago: The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984)
  27. Svevo, Italo: Coscienza di Zeno/ Zeno's Consciousness (1923)
  28. Goncarov, Ivan: Oblomov (1859)
  29. Carpentier, Alejo: "Lost Steps" (1953)
  30. Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary (1856)
  31. Gaddis, William: The Recognitions
  32. Pavese, Cesare: Luna e i Falo'/ Moon and Bonfires (1950)
  33. Krasznahorkai, Laszlo: Satantango (1985)
  34. Cortazar, Julio: Rayuela (1963)
  35. Vargas-Llosa, Mario: "Conversacion en la Catedral" (1969)
  36. Gide: Les Faux-Monnayeurs (1925)
  37. Barth, John: Giles Goat Boy
  38. Murakami, Haruki: "Sekai no Owari to Ha-doboirudo Wanda-rando/ Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" (1985)
  39. Camus: "The Stranger" (1942)
  40. Kis, Danilo: Clessidra (1972)
  41. Schnitzler, Arthur: Traumnovelle/ Dream Story (1925)
  42. Lem: Solaris (1961)
  43. Peter Nadas (1942): "Emlekiratok Konyve/ Book of Memoirs" (1986)
  44. Melville: "Moby Dick" (1851)
  45. Marcel Proust: "A La Recherche du Temps Perdu" (1922)
  46. Rushdie: "Midnight's Children" (1980)
  47. Bellow, Saul: "Herzog" (1964)
  48. Pavic, Milroad: "The Dictionary of the Khazars" (1984)
  49. Donoso, Jose: "El Obsceno Pajaro de la Noche" (1970) ++
  50. Lessing, Doris: "The Golden Notebook" (1962)
  51. Hrabal, Bohumil: "Prilis Hlucna Samota/ Too Loud a Solitude (1976)
  52. Tanizaki, Junichiro: "Sasameyuki/ Makioka Sisters" (1948)
  53. Gadda: Cognizione del Dolore (1963)
Maybe not the greatest but also favorites:
  • Gombrowicz: Pornography (1960)
  • PerezGaldos, Benito: Nazarin (1895)
  • Kundera, Milan: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1985)
  • Abe Kobo: Woman in the Dunes (1962)
  • Buzzati, Dino: Deserto dei tartari (1940)
  • Unamuno, Miguel: Nebla (1914)
  • Oe, Kenzaburo: Silent Cry (1967)
  • Singer, Isaac: Moskat Family (1950)

Best novels in...:

  • Balkan
  • Baltic and Scandinavian
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Indian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbocroatian
  • Spanish
  • Arabic/Hebrew/Turkish
  • Ancient
  • ...see the full list...